Tag Archives: not good enough

Your own worst enemy

 

 

worst enemy

Your own worst enemy

Being self critical definitely makes you your own worst enemy. Finding fault with ourselves and self loathing defies all logic. We are given the raw materials to work with when we are born and although we can improve ourselves to a point, there is no escaping our biology. Despite this fact, we all seem to make a habit of rejecting ourselves and comparing ourselves unfavourably to others. What a complete waste of time!

Think about it…why wouldn’t you want to get as comfortable with yourself as possible? We’re stuck with the body we are born into so it makes sense to spend effort on liking ourselves and working with what we’ve been given. I especially loathed myself in my teens and early twenties. I was extremely self conscious and hate just about everything about myself – the way I looked, the way I behaved…there was very little self love and acceptance going on back then.

It has taken me many years to begin to feel comfortable in my own skin and I know I am not alone in this. I find it a sad state of affairs though and if I could go back and give my younger self a wise message, it would be to appreciate my youth more and focus on my strengths instead of always looking at my perceived weaknesses. We seem to only appreciate things once we no longer have them. I regularly see pictures of my younger self and can see now that I looked pretty good yet at the time, I can remember feeling inadequate, fat and ugly.

Do yourself a favour and make friends with yourself. Don’t be your own worst enemy. Learn to love all that is unique about you, no matter how weird or different. Celebrate who you are and maximise what you have with appreciation rather than self criticism. You will be amazed at how much happier and at peace you will begin to feel.

Mandy X

How to overcome insecurities in a relationship

 

insecure in relationships

How to overcome insecurities in a relationship

Feeling insecure often has to do with low self esteem and a negative inner dialogue. Part of dealing with insecurities in a relationship consists of working on yourself – identify yur strengths and know what you are worth. Tell yourself that whomever has your love is a very lucky person. See yourself as a prize. Half the battle is being true to yourself and liking yourself. This strong inner foundation can help you through the more tricky times in a relationship. Because this struggle is so internal and most of the time even independent of circumstances, it’s important to deal with our insecurities without distorting or dragging our partner into them. We can do this by taking two steps 1. Uncovering the real roots of our insecurity and 2. Challenging the inner critic that sabotages our relationship.

Stop thinking it is all about you

When we feel insecure we often think it is because we aren’t enough on some level. Consider the possibility that what you think is going on in the relationship actually has nothing to do with your perceived failings/flaws.

Communication

Communication is also key in order to counteract insecurities. You may very well have ‘picked up the wrong end of the stick’. When we are insecure, we tend to view things through our insecurity-filter and we are triggered by things that others who feel more secure would not even notice. Stop seeing things in black and white. Sometimes relationships feel less loving and less supportive – this is normal.

Stop being dependent on anyone but yourself

Be aware that you might be seeing problems where none exist  – in other words, you may be making up stuff. Ask yourself, “Am I making things up in my head?”. Look for clear evidence to support your thinking and often you will find there isn’t anything clearly obvious. (Such as your partner clearly saying “I don’t love you and don’t want to be with you anymore”.

Give up the idea of the perfect relationship

It doesn’t exist. There are ups and downs and mood changes, moments of affection and closeness and moments of friction.  These ups and downs are completely normal and expected in relationships.

Examine your expectations

You may have a pre-existing idea of how a relationship should be – let go a little. Self assurance comes from learning to accept uncertainty to a certain extent. GIve yourself reassurance rather than expecting it constantly from your partner. Being too needy and clingy can be off-putting. Learn to talk to yourself and remind yourself of all your good qualities.

Space is important

Have other interests beyond the relationship

Stop ‘mind reading’/making stuff up

Constantly wondering what your partner is thinking is a quick route to anxiety. If they say one thing, don’t automatically assume they mean something else or that they are hinting at something. If they say nothing don’t assume that their silence is significant, either.

Many people relax by not talking. Constantly wondering and asking what someone is thinking is a dead end because even if they do tell, will you believe them anyway?

‘Mind reading’ happens when we assume we know what someone is thinking when we don’t.

Focus on what is good

Insecure people assume a relationship is bad unless reassured otherwise. Secure people assume all is good in the relationship unless shown or proven otherwise. Let this be your default position too. No meaningful relationship will always work flawlessly all the time.  Being too black and white about the quality and health of a relationship spells trouble.  There will always be difficulties present, but you can still focus on the good.  Insecure people constantly look for signs of what’s not working in their relationships.  What you need to do is look for signs of what is working well.

Healthy happy relationships go through tough times too. Don’t hold back in relationships and give as much as you get. Try not to hold back and play games due to fear or insecurity. When you feel anxious, give it a little time and see whether you are just making things up or whether there is something to truly be concerned about. Stop and think before reacting. Learn to be self sufficient. If the anxiety continues despite looking for clear evidence (and finding none), examine your values and reasonable expectations and then communicate these to your partner. A loving partner will want you to be happy and fulfilled in a relationship and will care about your needs. Look at what they do AND say.

Mandy X

Filling the void

 

void

Filling the void

 

Sometimes life feels so empty, like something is missing but I’m not quite sure what. As if I am missing out on a big secret that everyone else knows about and I don’t. Of course, this isn’t really the case because when I have deep and meaningful conversations with friends they often tell me they feel the same way at times. They too experience loneliness (even when they are with others) and a feeling that they are missing out on something. A feeling that leaves them feeling there is still a void to be filled. So what is it?

I often thought my ‘void’ came from a troubled childhood. One where I was criticized and never quite felt loved and cherished. Perhaps the idea that I am not loveable is something that I still try to ‘fix’. If I just find the right partner who loves me in a way that makes me feel accepted and cherished, or find the right job with just the right amount of praise and status….Perhaps that is the void I am trying to fill. The thing is, I don’t believe the void can ever be filled by an external source. We fool ourselves into thinking that external validation will be the elixir we seek but the truth seems to be that despite external validation, there always seems to be something more to strive for.

I have come across many people who have felt the same way. Often, they would tell me that their parents pushed them to achieve and without realising it, created adults that never felt good enough. So maybe it’s that we all have this desire to feel whole and content and keep searching for this desirable feeling of wholeness. The other thing to consider of course is that perhaps this perpetual state of wholeness doesn’t actually exist.

I have had moments where I feel incredibly at peace and contented…it’s a wonderful feeling but it permeates for a while and then disappears, leaving me feeling anxious or incomplete once more. Maybe that is just how life is and when we accept that the void is just a part of life, we can get on with the process of living and being instead of chasing and wanting.

Mandy X

I’m not good enough

not good enough photo

I’m not good enough

“I’m not good enough” is a statement that I hear many clients say. Perhaps they don’t come out with it immediately but after a few therapy sessions of searching and exploring, clients often find that many of their problems boil down to a basic belief about themselves: that they somehow don’t measure up.

There are many reasons for feeling this way – our parents, schooling, the media, comparing ourselves using faulty assumptions – the list is endless.

How this belief  “I’m not good enough” affects life on a practical level:

1) Avoiding social gatherings and/or intimacy, close relationships with others

2) Avoiding going out, preferring to stay indoors

3) Not applying for jobs that seem too challenging (even if they aren’t in reality)

4) Not offering an opinion that others might reject

5) Being a people pleaser, non-assertive person

6) Avoiding trying anything new

7) Being possessive, jealous and/or controlling in relationships

8) Overcompensating by either being highly critical of others or by playing the clown, being the life and soul of the party

9) Anxiety and depression

10) Panic attacks

Feeling not good enough manifests in a variety of ways and can often go undetected even for those close to the person who feels this way. It’s normal to suffer from self doubt and to feel inadequate at times in life. This has more to do with faulty thinking though and should not be seen as confirmation of not being good enough.

When we monitor and challenge our thinking, we can find ways to boost our self esteem and develop ‘buffers’ to keep us feeling good about ourselves.

If you feel that you aren’t good enough, think about how this core belief might be affecting and limiting your life. Feed yourself with positive thoughts. If you find this very difficult to do, see a therapist and try cognitive-behavioural therapy to help you become your number one fan.

Mandy X

 

 

Photo by CJS*64 A man with a camera